If you have found a baby possum that appears to have lost its tail, it’s important to handle the situation with care and attention to ensure the animal’s safety and well-being. Here are some steps you can take to clean and care for a baby possum:
- Assess the Possum’s Condition: The first step in caring for a baby possum is to assess its overall condition. Check for any visible injuries or signs of illness, such as cuts, bruises, or disorientation. If the possum appears to be injured or sick, it’s best to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or veterinarian for assistance.
- Prepare a Warm, Safe Space: Once you have assessed the possum’s condition, prepare a warm, safe space for the animal to rest and recover. Line a box or crate with soft bedding, such as a towel or blanket, and place it in a quiet, warm area away from pets or other disturbances. The box should be large enough for the possum to move around, but not so large that the animal can get lost or injured.
- Handle the Possum with Care: When handling the baby possum, it’s important to do so with care to avoid causing any additional stress or harm. Wear gloves to protect yourself from any potential diseases or parasites, and handle the possum gently and with a calm demeanor. Avoid picking up the possum by its tail, as this can cause further injury or stress.
- Clean the Possum: If the baby possum appears to be dirty or soiled, you can clean it using a damp cloth or paper towel. Use warm water and a mild soap, such as baby shampoo, to gently wash the possum’s fur and skin, being careful to avoid its eyes and mouth.
- Check for Injuries: After cleaning the possum, check for any injuries that may require additional care. Look for cuts, bites, or other signs of trauma, and contact a wildlife rehabilitation center or veterinarian if you notice anything concerning. If the possum has lost its tail, it’s possible that it may have been in a fight with a predator, and may have other injuries that are not immediately visible.
- Provide Food and Water: Baby possums require a specialized diet that includes a mix of formula and solid foods. You can purchase possum formula from a local pet store or veterinarian and feed the possum using a syringe or bottle. Offer the possum fresh water in a shallow dish, being careful not to get water in its nose or mouth.
- Monitor the Possum’s Progress: After cleaning and feeding the baby possum, monitor its progress closely to ensure that it is thriving and recovering. Keep the possum in a warm, safe space and provide regular feedings and water. If the possum appears to be sick or injured, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or veterinarian for assistance.
- Consider Rehabilitating the Possum: While it may be tempting to keep the baby possum as a pet, it’s important to remember that possums are wild animals and may not thrive in a domestic environment. Additionally, it is illegal in many areas to keep possums as pets without a special license. If you are unable to care for the possum yourself, consider contacting a local wildlife rehabilitation center or animal rescue organization for assistance.
In conclusion, caring for a baby possum that has lost its tail requires careful attention and patience. Assess the possum’s condition, prepare a warm, safe space, handle the possum with care, clean the possum, check for injuries, provide food and water, monitor the possum’s progress, and consider rehabilitating the possum if necessary. Remember to treat the possum with respect and care, and to seek professional assistance if you are unsure how to proceed.